Redirect an entire website using AWS Lambda
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Lambda Redirector

Redirect an entire website using AWS Lambda and API Gateway, packaged with CloudFormation and deployed with Serverless Application Model (SAM).

Table of Contents


The Problem

If you've migrated from one domain to another and you want to redirect all incoming requests from the old domain to the new one, you'd typically do the following:

  1. Create a webserver with either Apache or NGINX that listens to incoming requests.
  2. Rewrite all requests to the new domain while passing appropriate headers (301/302 HTTP status with a Location header).

This works fine except you have to run a whole webserver just to manage this.

The Solution

We could use API Gateway as an entrypoint for requests and map those requests to our Lambda function. This way, we utilize a resource only when it's needed. Lambda is ideal for this use case since this is not a long lived process and it's also very specialized and the behaviour well defined.

We've used CloudFormation to define our Lambda functions and in the function definition, we've specified that requests coming into API Gateway would act as a trigger for our Lambda functions. We've also specified that GET requests are handled by one function and all other HTTP methods are handled by another.

Finally, we use AWS SAM to package and deploy our code.



  • MyRedirectorBucket is the name of the bucket we'll be uploading our packaged Lambda code to.
  • Redirector is the name of our CloudFormation stack.
  • is the new domain we are redirecting to.

Setting Up

Make sure our S3 bucket exists, if not, create it

aws s3 ls s3://MyRedirectorBucket/ > /dev/null 2>&1 || aws s3 mb s3://MyRedirectorBucket

Validate our CloudFormation template to make sure there are no errors

aws cloudformation validate-template --template-body file://./app_spec.yml


Package and upload local artifacts to S3

aws cloudformation package \
    --template-file app_spec.yml \
    --output-template-file packaged.yml \
    --s3-bucket MyRedirectorBucket


Deploys the CloudFormation template by creating and executing a changeset.

aws cloudformation deploy \
    --template-file packaged.yml \
    --stack-name Redirector \
    --capabilities CAPABILITY_IAM \
    --parameter-overrides \
        NewDomain= \


Parameters Type Description
HTTPResponse Number The HTTP response to redirect with. Only 301 and 302 are allowed.
NewDomain String New domain to redirect to.

Deleting a Stack

While testing, you may need to delete a stack

aws cloudformation delete-stack --stack-name Redirector


Since we are using AWS SAM, we are going to run into bug #191. If you look at the Stages in your API Gateway, you're going to see a stage named Stage. Hopefully this bug is fixed soon.




Copyright 2018 by Modus Create, Inc.

This software is licensed under the permissive MIT License.